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Every bit of emotional clearing you do will make it easier to open up to deep intimacy with a partner. Don’t hesitate to find a support group and/or therapist to help with this process.

What I have experienced first-hand is that orgasm with a partner, or on my own, definitely triggers addictive tendencies, as well as old neurotic emotional patterns. I still have emotional issues to work through, and I still create obstacles for myself, but avoiding orgasm gives me a more sound foundation to work from. My intuition is heightened, my intellect is more powerful, and I just feel better about myself overall. I also get along with people better, and I can handle stress much more competently. I've achieved a level of emotional stability that I never had. I react much more appropriately to life's ups and downs, whereas I used to just fall apart.—Pat

If you experiment, you may find that moving beyond the orgasm cycle speeds the effectiveness of other emotional-clearing techniques. The hormones released by the body in response to stress inhibit the rational brain—and your ability to see your circumstances from a new perspective. The brain then reverts to behaviors that don’t require conscious decisions (such as eating comfort foods, drinking, masturbation, smoking).

Whatever the source of your past uneasiness, recognize that all of humanity has, to some extent, been under the spell of its mating neurochemistry. Some of us are learning to overcome fear and resentment from the victim side. Some of us are learning to forgive ourselves and become safe partners again. When I'm feeling empathy for others, I remind myself how hard it is to be on the other side, too. Like explorers, people who have gone into the far reaches of hypersexuality have also been battered. They honestly had no idea what was causing their distorted judgment. I remind myself that, in their shoes, I might easily have made the same mistakes.

It is hard not to feel compassion for everyone caught in the current vortex of “sex as mood-altering stimulation.” It has shown us, very convincingly, its drawbacks. The good news is that the current extremes create the perfect climate in which to consider gentle, affectionate karezza. The results may be worth all the pain.

My relationship is going so well, and I know a lot of it has to do with this approach to relationships. I feel great. I feel in love and I am not confused or scaring men off anymore.—Nora